Shutter by Courney Alameda
Why? This month’s theme is Paranormal. I actually had a totally different book planned out for this read, but for some weird reason I decided to write a review for it last week, so I had to pick a new one fast and this book was already on my bookshelf.
In this book we are taken to the last living descendant of the famous Van Helsing, yes, the one that defeated the equally famous Dracula. Micheline Van Helsing has been trained at a young age to defeat the creatures that lurk our world: ghosts, spirits, wayward souls, etc. with the help of her cameras.
During one unfortunate ghost hunt, everything that does wrong, went wrong and at the end of the night Micheline and her group of friends are not only defeated, they have been cursed with the soulchain. Now they must find out more about this curse and destroy it, or risk being exterminated by her father, Leonard Van Helsing.
Review: I was pleasantly surprised about this book. I really didn’t thing this book was going to be set in modern/present time, but it really should have clicked since they do mention ‘films and cameras’.
I enjoyed the story, it was very different from the other paranormal novels that I’ve read. Unfortunately for Alameda, I just finished read In the Shadow of Blackbirds, and that book gave me all the creeps. Having that in my head, I really couldn’t separate the two books. I guess its really unfair for Shutter because these two books have different storyline. Shutter is a lot more geared towards the action/adventure part of Paranormal where as In the Shadow of Blackbirds is historical Paranormal.
Shutter for me is mediocre. I didn’t really connect that much with the protagonist, Micheline, and at times I found her to be too whiny and naive. For a ghost hunter, who’s been trained at a young age, I feel that she made too many amateur mistakes. I admit, she had a rough 18-months, but the author didn’t really write a confused chracter, shes’s suppose to be a protagonist who is sure of herself and confident with herself. Truth be told, most of the characters in these books are a little bit too extreme, they’re too perfect, or at least the author tried to make them too perfect at the specific roles and they almost became cliche. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if she didn’t try to hard to make some of her characters really unlikable and other really likable, this is a classic evil vs good type of battle.
Like I said, the story is unique. This book reminded me a bit of the movie ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentleman’, where each character brings something different in the group and their ‘specialties’ are unique only to them. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman is one of my favorite movies, so when this vibe started, I was a bit excited and I think this concept would have been more effective if Alameda included more popular characters.
I’m not a fan of the end and for those who knows me and my book preferences, endings can make it or break it for me. I wouldn’t have minded if the ending was a tad sadder than what I’m used to, but I didn’t like who the ghost turned out to be and the reasons that the author created. I refuse to think of this as an ending to a story, it felt unfinished and I’m not really sure if the author is going to continue this story. That being said, I don’t really know if I even want to continue even if the Alameda decides to finish the story of Micheline and her friends.